NPR

Supreme Court Halts Execution Of 'Texas 7' Inmate Denied Buddhist Spiritual Adviser

Patrick Murphy, who escaped from prison and participated in a robbery that led to a murder, was scheduled to be executed Thursday. The Court said he had the right to a spiritual adviser of his choice.

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the execution of a Buddhist inmate on death row because prison officials wouldn't let his spiritual adviser be in the execution chamber, even though they provide chaplains for inmates of some other faiths.

This case is in contrast to a similar case last month, in which the high court permitted the execution of a Muslim inmate who couldn't have his imam with him at the moment of death. The court provided no explanation for the different result.

Legal scholars said the new decision sends a message that religious discrimination by government officials is never acceptable

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